Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Gordon Deegan

Plans by the owners of the Citywest hotel complex in west Dublin for a €20 million 8,047 burial plot cemetery are facing local opposition.

Last month, a Tetrarch Capital entity, Cape Wrath UC lodged the plans with South Dublin County Council for the cemetery on a 33 acre site on the grounds of a former 18 hole golf course.

The scheme also proposes Columbarium walls, a reception building with space for 60 seated guests and a 110 space car park.

Planning consultants for the scheme, Tom Phillips+Associates have told the Council that the cemetery “will provide a significant quantum of burial plots” serving the residential community in south Dublin.

Associate, Aoife McCarthy contends that the proposal “will provide a well designed reception building and landscaped cemetery at an appropriate location and scale significantly enhancing the visual and ecological amenities of the site”

However, Rathcoole Community Council has told the Council that they “are concerned with the loss of a major portion of our neighbourhood’s designated green leisure space on the old City West hotel golf course because of this development”.

On behalf of the Community Council, Alan Fairman has stated that while we agree that additional cemetery space will be required in time for west Dublin “there is no rationale provided as to why the amount of 8,047 plots was selected”.

Mr Fairman argues that the proposal is “premature” and states that the Community Council is concerned that a significant amount of additional traffic congestion will result on the Saggart/Rathcoole access roads from locating a cemetery close to Saggart/ Fortunestown Lane junction.

He states: “If normal burial criteria apply to the proposed plots and columbarium it would seem that the proposed cemetery could cater for up to 25,000 funerals resulting in a significant number of daily funeral processions, and associated vehicular traffic, imposing a huge burden on existing road infrastructure.”

Saggart resident, Colm McGrath has told the Council that given the proposed cemetery’s location “immediately adjacent to arguably the biggest hotel in Europe, the proposed cemetery would represent an inexplicable under-utilisation of a prime leisure/recreational asset”.”

Mr McGrath said: “All in all, this proposal makes no sense unless it is a philanthropic gesture on the part of Cape Wrath.”

In another submission, the Saggart Village Residents’ Association has told the Council that it “cannot support this application without a better vision of how the future of Saggart will be planned”.

Chairperson of the SVRA, Lynn Tierney has told the Council that the application is part of an ad hoc approach to planning on such large lands surrounding Saggart Village.

Plans by another Tetrarch entity for a cemetery, that includes 5,806 burial plots, in Howth, are also facing local opposition. Fingal County Council has sought further information on the plans

A decision on the planned Citywest cemetery is due on the proposed development next month.

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